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Research capacity development

Working to strengthen research and evidence literacy in Christian Aid and the NGO sector

Evidence for Development Professionals course

The Centre for Excellence in Research, Evidence and Learning has created Evidence for Development Professionals – a practitioner-centred course focused on building the capacity of INGO staff to commission, manage and participate in research and engage critically with evidence.

The course is delivered online, through weekly interactive seminars, enabling participation from many countries. We use simple online facilitation tools – polls, mind-maps and quizzes – to collaborate remotely, stimulate discussion, and make the most of participants’ expertise.  

The course follows the research cycle, enabling participants to think through the dynamics of each stage – from identifying a research question, designing and implementing research, considering ethics and data management, to communicating research for uptake and impact. 

We combine elements of a university research methods course with an applied approach that draws on examples of practice from participants and the wider applied research community. So instead of focusing narrowly on methods, we emphasise building critical approaches to practice.

We have run Evidence for Development Professionals three times in Christian Aid, and are developing a pilot for testing with a much wider audience. 

Contact us on RELhub@christian-aid.org for further information.

One-page guides for implementing research and evidence projects

The staff of the Centre for Excellence in Research, Evidence and Learning are research advisors for our Christian Aid colleagues. From this advisory work, we have developed a series of one-page guides for areas where we are frequently asked for advice. They are useful for any practitioner researchers, particularly in the NGO sector.  Download one-page guides for:

Toolkits and methods guides

Fair and Equitable Research Partnerships (2018)

These resources – an introduction, six modules and nine written and audio case studies – are designed to help different stakeholders involved in collaborative international development research put principles for fair and equitable research partnerships into practice.

Rethinking Research Partnerships (2017)

This discussion guide and toolkit provides ideas and approaches to enable you to think through your research partnerships; to encourage you to critically engage with issues such as the roles different actors play in partnership; and what types of evidence are valued, used and produced.

Methods for Assessing the Impact of Governance (2016)

In 2015, an impact assessment of Christian Aid’s governance programming trialled a range of creative and innovative assessment methods. In these short reports, you can learn about participatory assessment methods (Sierra Leone), contribution analysis (Kenya), process tracing (Bangladesh) and  participatory video (Central America).

Research advice blogs

Referencing sources: making it work for non-academic audiences (Kas Sempere, 2018)

Three ways to use Skype for Business for learning (Hilary Cornish, 2017)